Kentucky Flood Update: Children Swept Away as Death Toll 'Could Double'

At least 25 people have been killed by a series of flash floods which struck the Appalachia region in Kentucky, with the death toll expected to rise further.

On Friday Joe Biden issued a Disaster Declaration after hundreds of homes were flooded, with at least 33,000 people without electricity across the state.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear warned the number of confirmed fatalities could more than double, and is likely to continue rising "for the next several weeks" as more bodies are discovered.

He said: "There's still a lot of people out there, still a lot of people unaccounted for.
"We're going to do our best to find them all."

The Appalachia region was deluged with rain on Thursday, with some parts receiving more than eight inches over 24 hours.

This caused flood waters to race along Appalachian valleys, submerging some homes and triggering mudslides which caused further destruction.

Among the dead are at least six children, with Governor Beshear confirming four siblings, aged between one and eight, had been killed together.

Brittany Trejo, the siblings' cousin, told the Lexington Herald-Leader the four children "had managed to get to a tree" with their parents, but then "a big tide came and washed them all away at the same time".

The distraught mother and father, who managed to survive, were stranded at the tree for more than eight hours before being rescued.

At least 25 killled by Kentucky flooding
A rescue team from the Jackson Fire Department assists people out of floodwaters downtown on July 28, 2022 in Jackson, Kentucky. Michael Swensen/GETTY

And speaking to CNN 17-year-old Chloe Adams described her terror as water levels began rising, then encircled and entered her house.

A viral photo shows her perched on the roof of a nearly submerged building.
She commented: "There was water as far as I could see. I had a full-blown panic attack."

Chloe managed to escape along with Sandy, the dog she has had since she was a toddler.

National Guard soldiers have been brought in to help rescue workers search for survivors.

According to Governor Beshear, on Thursday alone there were more than 50 air rescues, along with hundreds by boat.

He added: "This situation is ongoing. We are still in the search-and-rescue mode and at least in some areas the water is not going to crest until tomorrow.

"It's going to be a tough couple of days, and then it's going to be a long rebuild, but we're tough enough, we'll make it.

"Let's stick together, let's help out our fellow human being."

A debate has broken out over whether human triggered climate change played a role in the tragedy.

Posting on Twitter Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s youngest daughter, said: "My heart goes out to people in #Kentucky devastated by #flooding.

"Human-induced climate change, particularly when coupled with poverty, a human-made disaster, causes severe weather to be even more destructive."

Governor Beshear was more circumspect, commenting: "I believe climate change is real, I believe that it is causing more severe weather.

"With that said, I don't know about this one, and whether it is or is not connected."